Draft Columbia River BasinMonitoring, Evaluation, Research and Reporting (MERR) Plan<br>November 2010 revision

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Also see revision process updated November 2010

This Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Reporting (MERR) Plan ensures the Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program (Program) goals, objectives, and actions are monitored, evaluated, and reported in a manner that allows assessment and reporting of Program progress; it is intended to evolve with the Program. To facilitate Program assessment and reporting, the MERR Plan consists of a Strategic Plan, Implementation Framework, as well as implementation strategies for anadromous fish, resident fish, and wildlife.

The Strategic Plan focuses on the Council’s research, monitoring, evaluation (RME) and reporting needs at the policy level. The Strategic Plan sets forth the purpose and expectations for RME and reporting implemented through the Program.

The Implementation Framework contains existing, modified and new processes for prioritizing and implementing RME and reporting at the programmatic level. The Implementation Framework describes how the various components of RME can be used to adaptively manage the Program and guides the development of standardized Implementation Strategies for anadromous fish, resident fish, and wildlife.

The three Implementation Strategies, Anadromous Fish Implementation Strategy, Resident Fish Implementation Strategy, and Wildlife Implementation Strategy, are attached as separate appendices providing additional guidance in prioritizing and implementing RME and reporting. The Implementation Strategies will be developed with regional partners, and will consider integration of regional products.

Upon approval by the Council, the MERR Plan will provide expectations for, and guidance on, how RME and reporting are conducted through the Program. This guidance will assist the Council and other partners in the Basin with:

  • Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of RME efforts by facilitating communication and coordination among project proponents and funding agencies within the Basin;
  • Adaptively managing the Program;
  • Reporting on Program progress for accountability purposes;
  • Providing sufficient information to guide Council decisions;
  • Enhancing timeliness, quality and quantity of information for a given level of effort by encouraging collaboration and more efficient coordination among entities in the Basin;
  • Prioritizing implementation of the Program’s RME and reporting;
  • Identifying priority data gaps;
  • Ensuring that all projects have the appropriate level of monitoring;
  • Ensuring implemented projects comply with contractual agreements and meet implementation criteria;
  • Supporting tracking of status and trends of priority species and habitat characteristics as well as factors affecting them;
  • Supporting evaluation and reporting on project effectiveness and the effectiveness of actions in protecting, mitigating, and enhancing the Basin’s fish and wildlife resources;
  • Facilitating sharing and reporting of RME information with the public in an easily accessible and understandable manner;
  • Ensuring that RME are integrated with relevant plans and guidance documents such as biological opinions and recovery plans; and
  • Providing further context for the Independent Scientific Review Panel’s review of projects and of the Program.